Author's idiotisms: A result of one of the failed ideas on the plot of Calliope and the Final Update v2 (still not the fanfic's actual name).
Andrew Hussie was thinking about where he wanted to take MS Paint Adventures from the end of Problem Sleuth.
The day was March 10th, 2009, and Problem Sleuth, a year in the making, was now complete. Since the few fans of Problem Sleuth that were there still wanted to know the characters' fates, he was drawing an epilogue for the stories.
He didn't feel like drawing an epilogue, though. If his most avid fans - those who had stayed with him since the beginning of Jailbreak - wanted more of the same, perhaps it would be better to just continue the ideas of Problem Sleuth in a sequel. Though, the whole idea of a Problem Sleuth 2 seemed problematic (get it) to him. The main three detectives had already done their adventures; to put them in a different set of adventures would be ridiculous, and the story would seem really repetitive.
Another interesting idea came to him from an MSPA side-project, in which, for donations, Hussie would write bonus pages that didn't quite fit into the plot of Problem Sleuth. The donations had already become their own thing, introducing the Midnight Crew, and the story of the Midnight Crew seemed worth expanding. However, the Midnight Crew adventure didn't seem to be that far away from Problem Sleuth. The fourth adventure, if it came to life, needed to be as distant from Problem Sleuth as Problem Sleuth was from Bard Quest, or as Bard Quest was from Jailbreak. It needed to follow an entirely different set of characters.
Hussie had a very clear image. Jailbreak was a story about prisoners. Bard Quest was a story about Middle Ages characters. Problem Sleuth was a story about detectives. The fourth adventure...?
Though, some elements remained common across all three adventures, and hopefully the fourth adventure wouldn't just grow to become its own thing and put the other three to shame. Hell, Problem Sleuth was longer than Jailbreak and Bard Quest combined. To have the spotlight that Problem Sleuth had for now be taken by some fourth story... Hussie didn't even want to write a fourth story, to be honest. The fan adventures that had gathered on the Gangbunch Fora seemed like they were good candidates to replace Problem Sleuth.
While Hussie was in his own thoughts and Photoshop drawing, he was suddenly startled by an application called "Pesterchum". The application itself seemed like a huge mistake in Hussie's eyes, and he kept it on ironically. He didn't even have any friends there.
Without wondering too much, Andrew clicked on the message.
- ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering timelessExpanse [TE] at 3:10 PM -
EB: andrew hussie?
EB: is that you?
TE: how did you even find me
TE: no one even uses this program
EB: through problem sleuth, of course!
EB: i liked the story and how it feels like a game.
TE: im laughing so much rn
TE: just remembered its that one where your nicknames have to be
EB: it got confusing pretty quickly, but that's okay.
TE: one word lowercase
TE: the other uppercase
TE: and it makes an abbreviation for you
EB: i'll have to figure it out with other people who like the story.
TE: and the moods are
TE: five smiley faces and one mad face
TE: gee which smiley face do i want to be today
EB: do you have a link to any discussion forum?
TE: guess ill be chummy for now
TE: wait wait wait
TE: you mean youre NOT from gangbunch fora?
EB: no, what's that?
TE: basically where i met all my friends
TE: and there i submitted ms paint adventures
TE: just kidding theyre drawn in photoshop
TE: jailbreak then bard quest then problem sleuth
TE: but then ps ended up taking over everything
TE: heard rumors theyre going to rename the fora to mspa fora
TE: because of how much we discuss mspa there
TE: theres still an off topic section
TE: but its mostly
TE: all problem sleuth all the time
TE: theyre now discussing what my next mspa is going to be
TE: one crazy dude thinks its going to be about kids in the sburbia
TE: thats so funny i cant keep it straight
TE: all my stories were about adults
EB: i, for one, would like to see someone like myself in your story.
TE: youre in a wrong place then kid
TE: how old are you
EB: turning 13 this april.
TE: yeah youre a kid i want nothing to do with you
EB: andrew hussie?
EB: is that really andrew hussie, the author of problem sleuth?
TE: geez yes
TE: hey whats your name
EB: it's john.
EB: john egbert.
TE: john egbert nice to meet you
TE: but anyway im telling you
TE: youre definitely not like most fans of ps
TE: and you want to stay away from them as far as possible
TE: lest they shit on you or something
TE: i swear thats all theyre doing
TE: and im like their keeper
TE: i SORTA got them to behave w/ ps
TE: but give them a month theyll be as vulgar as they were before
TE: like horses
TE: seriously man
TE: you do not understand horses the way i do
TE: so majestic and so poetic
TE: yet horses still fail at not being animals
TE: and not acting like animals
TE: and what the artists do
TE: is they kind of ignore that part to not corrupt the image of horses
EB: andrew hussie, is that really you?
TE: yes that is really me
TE: andrew hussie creator of problem sleuth
TE: if you dont believe me i can prove it to you
TE: check my website now
TE: if i did everything correctly
TE: the first page of problem sleuth should read
TE: horses horses horses horses horses horses horses
EB: hold on...
EB: oh my god, it does.
EB: i believe you, andrew hussie.
TE: no probs john egbert
TE: changin it back so no one suspects
TE: im going to say horses and only horses now so you leave
TE: since im working on a ps update and that conversation was weird as hell
TE: here goes
TE: horses horses horses horses horses horses
TE: horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses
TE: horses horses horses horses horses
TE: horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horsesV horses horses horses
TE: horses horses horses horses horses horsesTE: horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horseshorses horses horses horses horses horsesTE: horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horseshorses horses horses horses horses horsesTE: horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses horses
EB: yeah, i'm going to leave now.
TE: . . . . / - - - / . - . / . . . / . / . . .
TE: HoRsEs hOrSeS HoRsEs hOrSeS
- ectoBiologist [EB] ceased pestering timelessExpanse [TE] at 3:41 PM -
Andrew Hussie shrugged. A 12-year-old who likes Problem Sleuth? Really?
Something finally began to click inside Andrew's mind. If this John Egbert kid really liked the idea of seeing himself in a story, Andrew could write such a story. He could very well write a story, simply taking the suggestions and ideas of fanventures, and make it the length of Problem Sleuth. And once Andrew was done, he would email the story to John, with love. Perhaps Andrew could even invite John over.
Perhaps the story could become the fourth MS Paint Adventure...
No. No. Andrew Hussie was definitely not making that into the fourth MS Paint Adventure. The sudden change from adults to kids would drive a lot of fans out. More of the same was the answer. He would simply gather more ideas and make the Midnight Crew adventure, and publish it.
And yet, Hussie was still intent on trolling this 12 year old kid really hard. As he saved the last finished Problem Sleuth panel, he began drawing a new panel. It showed a nerdy kid - just the type of kid Andrew imagined John to be - and had text above his head: "bluh bluh im john egbert i love problem sleuth".
Again, something else ticked inside Andrew's head. He removed all of the text but "john egbert", so there was simply a guy and his name above him, like in The Sims.
That seemed like a reasonable "next MS Paint Adventure"-style story. Largely mocking the games of those types. Hussie bet someone would manipulate John's room like he was nothing. Throw his computer at his face. Burn down all of his walls. Delete the door, or perhaps block it with the bathtub, so he remains forever stuck at his home.
Stuck at his home.
Andrew Hussie laughed at his own genius, and continued working on the rough storyboard of the newly conceived story.